Drum Cymbals: How To Choose

Drum cymbals play a big role in your drumming. Sometimes they sound good and other times, depending on which ones you have, they can sound horrible. Either way, they play an important role in your drumming. It is also important to learn what each cymbal is and what they do. It's also good to get to know your brands.

Now before we get started lets talk about stock cymbals... Stock cymbals are those cymbals that automatically come with a Beginner Drum Set. Some music stores throw them in for free.

A Tip? Here are the good cymbals that can come stock:

* Sabian B8s

* Zildjian ZBT

* Meinl HCS

Those are good cymbal sets, keep them until you can afford a different set!

Bad cymbals packs are like those that say, " Pearl" or "Sunlite" or "Peavy" on them. They are perfect to use as a complete beginner drummer, but for the rest of us they are absolutely YUCK SOUNDING!!!...Sorry for my screaming :)

You might not see it or hear it yet but as your talent grows you will most likely want to swap out your stock cymbals.

I made a list of great sounding cymbals down below but before learning about that let's first learn what each cymbal does.

Different Cymbals & What They Do

There are different kinds of drum cymbals for different types of music and sound. Learning about the different cymbals can help you gain a more better understanding of your drum kit and can expand your library of cymbals!

Crash Cymbals are usually between 14''-18'' and are used to cut through music! These are the main loud noise making cymbals...that's why if you get quality ones you get quality noise! These cymbals get hit all the time. They take the most beating!


Splash cymbals are usually between 6"-10". They are good for accents, like in reggae. They are not as loud as crashes. They are used for certain parts of a song, reggae and island music use a lot of splash sounds in their music. If they are constantly hit too hard, they can develop cracks quicker than regular crashes.


Chinas are used for accents, they are usually 14-18''. You can tell a china because the edges are bent up. They are used on special occasions or special parts of a song. Be careful when you add these kinds of sounds in because a china cymbal has a unique sound.


Ride cymbals are between 18-24'' and are usually placed on the right side of you drum set. It is called a ''Ride Cymbal'' because you will ride it with your stick, when you are not riding your hi-hat. The bell(bump in the center) later on can be used for accents and patterns that can compliment your rhythm as you become a better drummer!


Hi-hat cymbals usually between 13-15''. They play an important role in the drums. Tapping this helps keep time. Some things that you can do with the hi-hats are add accents, keep time, and add the sound of an open and closed hi-hat etc. These are used on a hi-hat stand with a pedal that controls its opening and closing.

Now that you learned what each one does, it's time to learn which brands sound good!

Great Sounding Cymbals and Cymbal Packs

For a beginner drummer you usually will want to go with complete cymbal packs. They help get you started quicker.

Just click on the picture if you find one that you want to order.

Sabian SBR Sabian creates amazing cymbals and you get great sound for great prices. These are one of the most popular beginner drum set cymbal packs out there. They are strong and they sound good.


This next brand is called Zildjian, and this set is from the Zildjian ZBT series. These are great beginner Drum Cymbals, they sound much, much better than the regular stock cymbals. This pack contains 4 cymbals as you see in the picture. It is 1-pair of hi-hats, 2-cymbals, and 1-Ride.


This last popular cymbal set is called Meinl HCS. I own Meinl, they make great sounding cymbals. These sound great over all. It cuts through music with grace, and matches many styles of music.

*NOTE: Drum Cymbals can be bought as singles, or as cymbal packs .

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Popular Drum Cymbals

Meinl HCS